Ryan Murphy to Direct Julia Roberts in HBO Film Adaptation of ‘The Normal Heart’

Julia Roberts and Ryan Murphy (Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

HBO has tapped “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy to direct a film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s Tony Award-winning play “The Normal Heart,” the network announced on Friday.

The film, which centers on the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, will reunite Murphy with his “Eat Pray Love” star Julia Roberts.

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Roberts will play the role of Dr. Emma Brookner, a paraplegic physician who treats several of the earliest victims of the disease. Joining Roberts are Mark Ruffalo will as Ned Weeks, a first-hand witness of the mysterious disease that has begun to claim the lives of many friends in his gay community; and Matt Bomer as Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes Ned’s lover.

“We are so proud to be involved with this monumental project,” said Michael Lombardo, president of HBO programming. “Ryan has assembled an extraordinary cast to bring Larry Kramer’s landmark theatrical achievement to the screen for the first time, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to bring this important film to HBO.”

Kramer will pen the film adaptation which is slated to begin production in New York City later this year for a 2014 debut on HBO.

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